Kerry, Zarif hold nuclear talks as deadline looms

John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif

Geneva : US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart today took a walk by Lake Geneva and then began intense talks here on Tehran's nuclear programme to remove the "significant gaps" that remain ahead of a key deadline.

The bilateral talks between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Zarif and Kerry have begun while the P5+1 ?- China, Russia, the UK, the US, France and Germany -- were to meet as a group later.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's brother and close aide Hossein Fereydoon along with US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz made their maiden appearance in the talks signalling that the deal is entering a sensitive stage.

FSB eyes new rules to end too-big-to-fail banks

FSB eyes new rules to end too-big-to-fail banksGeneva : The Financial Stability Board, a global banking watchdog, proposed Monday new rules that would push mega-banks to double their financial buffers in order to shield economies and taxpayers if they collapse.

The proposed rules are "a watershed in ending `too big to fail` for banks," said Mark Carney, FSB chairman and head of the Bank of England.

The new regulations are meant to help avoid a repetition of the 2008 crisis sparked by the Lehman Brothers collapse, which shook the global financial sector to its core.

World's largest flawless blue diamond fetches $23.7 mn

largest-flawless-vivid-blue-diamondGeneva, May 15 : A pear-shaped flawless 13.22 carat blue diamond, the world's largest, was sold for $23.7 million at Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale with a world record sale price of $1.7 million per carat, the event's organisers said Thursday.

Christie's said in a statement that 85 percent of the offered lots were sold of which 27 went at above $1 million.

Fetching the second best price was a 1912 Cartier's brooch at $17.5 million, followed by a 75.97 carat pear-shaped diamond for $14.4 million.

ITU award for presidents of Rwanda, South Korea

Park-Geun-hye-Paul-KagameGeneva, May 2 : President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Mexican billionnaire Carlos Slim Friday won the World Telecommunication and Information Society (WTIS) Award 2014.

They have been honoured by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in recognition of their leadership and dedication towards promoting ICT (information, communication and technology) development and broadband connectivity as a means of achieving sustainable development.

$140 bn lost in natural, man-made disasters in 2013: Report

Swiss ReGeneva, March 27 - Global natural catastrophes and man-made disasters had brought as much as $140 billion economic losses in 2013, according to the latest report released by Swiss Re Group Wednesday.

The Zurich-based insurance company noted that last year's total loss was down from the $196 billion in 2012 and well below the 10-year average of $190 billion, Xinhua reported.

The report said global insured losses reached around $45 billion last year due to large contributions from flooding and hail disasters, down from $81 billion in 2012.

Ferguson to work as UEFA coach ambassador

Alex-FergusonGeneva, Jan 24 : Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will work as a coach ambassador for UEFA, president Michel Platini said Friday.

"Sir Alex will be chairman of the forum of elite coaches that meets every year.  He will also be a member of the technical study group of the Champions League and the European Championship," Platini said at an executive committee meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, reports Xinhua.

UNHRC condemns rights violations in Syria

UNHRC condemns rights violations in SyriaGeneva, Sep 27 : The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Friday strongly condemned the continued gross, systematic and widespread violations of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law in Syria and urged the government to grant immediate access to the UN commission of inquiry.

The UNHRC demanded that the Syrian authorities cooperate fully with the commission of inquiry, including by granting it immediate, full and unfettered access throughout the country.

Poor infra, financing hampering India-Africa trade: Report

india-south-africaGeneva, July 9 : Poor infrastructure facilities and lack of financing are getting in the way of expanded business and investment ties between India and Africa, said a report Tuesday.

A study, jointly by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) supported by Britain's Department for International Development, found a number of constraints to bilateral trade. Access to Indian buyers and trade finance emerges as major concerns for African traders.

No match-fixing in 2014 World Cup qualifiers: FIFA

Ralf-MutschkeGeneva, April 6 : Football's world governing body FIFA said no match-fixing was found in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, with more than 500 matches played so far.

FIFA security director Ralf Mutschke said up to now "we don't have any leads that any match has been thrown" and they are "confident that nothing will happen through the qualification", reports Xinhua.

The full program of about 820 preliminary matches ends in November.

UAE man dies from novel disease

UAE man dies from novel diseaseGeneva, March 27 - A 73-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has died in Germany from infection of a novel disease coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

WHO said in its latest disease outbreak update that the man was transferred from a hospital in Abu Dhabi to Munich March 19. Germany's Robert Koch Institute informed WHO of the new confirmed case.

WHO also said that the British patient in the family cluster reported on Feb 11 with travel history to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia prior to his illness has died.

Newly-discovered particle is likely Higgs boson, shows data

Higgs-bosonGeneva, March 14 : Physicists found that the new particle discovered in July 2012 is "looking more and more like a Higgs boson" after analysing more data, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said Thursday.

"It remains an open question, however, whether this is the Higgs boson of the Standard Model of particle physics, or possibly the lightest of several bosons predicted in some theories that go beyond the Standard Model. Finding the answer to this question will take time," CERN said in a statement.

Volleyball World League 2013 host cities unveiled

Volleyball-World-League-2013Geneva, March 9  : The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) announced that the men's World League will get underway May 31 at the Helsinki Ice Hall in Finland as the hosts take on Egypt in Pool C.

On the opening weekend, Canada will host the Netherlands twice at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec and South Korea and Japan will face each other in a venue which is to be decided, reports Xinhua.

UNHRC urged to probe Sri Lanka 'war crimes'

UN-Human-RightsGeneva, Feb 20 : Human Rights Watch Wednesday urged the UN Human Rights Council to launch "an independent, international investigation into war crimes" committed in the final months of the Sri Lankan conflict.

It said that since the Council adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka in March 2012, Colombo "has taken no significant steps to provide justice for victims of abuse and accountability for those responsible".

Nestle's net profit goes up

Nestle-logoGeneva, Feb 15 : Swiss food giant Nestle has announced a net profit of 10.6 billion Swiss francs (about $11.5 billion) for 2012, an increase of 11.6 percent from the previous year.

The company Thursday reported a total sales volume of 92.2 billion Swiss francs ($100 billion), with an organic growth of 5.9 percent, down 1.6 percentage points from that of 2011, reported Xinhua.

Growth in the Asia, Oceania and Africa region was 8.4 percent, down from the 12 percent in 2011. However, it was still a strong growth compared with the 5.2 percent in the Americas and 1.8 percent in Europe.

Micra, a role for hatchbacks- says Nissan

Micra, a role for hatchbacks- says NissanNissan has answered the Indian roads at the recently held Geneva show, it's newly MICRA.

This hatchback is yet to feature its production in India. But, promises soon to see itself flowing on the roads of Indian subcontinent.

Marry a younger woman for happy married life, say researchers

Marry a younger woman for happy married life, say researchersAs per a research study conducted at the Geneva School of Business, a wife five years younger than you and from a similar cultural background increases the chances of a longer and happier married life.

Citroën DS3 Racing belts up for its launch

CitroënA little bird told us that Citroën DS3 Racing is set for launch for Geneva.

Although one can lay hands on the new card only by August when the official launch is scheduled. This exclusive model has 1000 units to be launched. It is powered by the BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen which boasts off 1.6 litre turbo charged engine generating a torque of 275Nm and a power of 150kW. Modifications such as lowering of suspension, widening of track were significantly noted.

ICRC visits detainees in Taliban custody

ICRC visits detainees in Taliban custodyGeneva, Dec 16 : The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has visited three members of Afghan security forces detained by the Taliban, the ICRC said Wednesday.

The meetings took place in Badghis province in north-western Afghanistan at the end of November.

"This is the first time since the beginning of the current conflict that the ICRC has visited people detained by the armed opposition," said Reto Stocker, ICRC head of delegation in Kabul.

Pak government claims back Swiss court evidence regarding NRO beneficiaries

Pak government claims back Swiss court evidence regarding NRO beneficiariesGeneva, Dec. 2 : The Pakistan government has finally claimed back evidence of the cases filed in the Swiss court against many influential personalities, who were benefited from the National Reconciliation Ordinace (NRO).

The files, which were stacked inside a lawyer’s office here, have been removed and are likely to be taken back to Islamabad, The News reports.

UN to examine legality of Swiss minaret ban

UN-LOGO Geneva, Nov 30 : The United Nations said Monday it aimed to study the legality of the ban on the building of new minarets in

Switzerland as a result of the country's referendum on Sunday.

A spokesman for the UN High Commission on Human Rights said in Geneva that experts would study whether the ban was in harmony with international law.

On a day of reaction ranging from outrage to alarm in both Muslim

and Western countries alike to the Swiss referendum outcome, the

Swiss government was coming in for criticism for even permitting the vote to be held in the first place.

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